Declaration of Geneva

The Council of the Socialist International, meeting in Geneva on 29 and 30 June, highlighting one of the main priorities of the social democratic movement today, discussed as its central theme “Working for global peace and stability in a world of conflicts without borders”. In these times of interdependence and global challenges, conflicts are no longer purely national, local or regional for the Socialist International. Every conflict, however seemingly distant or remote, not only touches us on a human level and engages our political commitment, but also affects how we live, together as citizens and the future of our countries.

 

The commitment of the Socialist International to the search for peace in the Middle East has been and continues to be a clear example of this conviction. Having received and listened to President Mahmoud Abbas and the representatives of its member parties in Israel in its first session on 29 June, the Council:

a) Expresses its profound recognition of the leadership and work of President Abbas at such a crucial time, aimed at advancing the interests of the Palestinian people, as well as at relaunching efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, on the basis of a two-state solution - Israel and Palestine - living side by side, in peace with secure and recognised borders.

b) Supports the efforts of President Abbas to strengthen and defend the integrity of the Palestinian political institutions in the service of all the Palestinian people.

c) Calls for an immediate end to the violence in Gaza and is committed to dedicating all its efforts to prevent a humanitarian disaster there.

d) Considers the efforts aimed at promoting the Arab Initiative for Peace as an opportunity to move forward a comprehensive agreement in the Middle East, which includes peace treaties between Israel, Palestine and Syria.

e) Calls on its member parties to encourage Israel and Syria, on the basis of their declarations of good will, to enter into serious negotiations to find an agreement for full peace between them.

f) Reiterates its call on the Israeli government to resume negotiations for a permanent accord.

g) Calls on the State of Israel to comply with the Protocol on Economic Relations between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, signed in Paris on 29 April 1994, and to transfer without delay all the Palestinian taxes currently withheld.

h) Announces a forthcoming meeting of its Middle East Committee in the region which will prepare a report on practical proposals to promote dialogue and negotiations for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

i) Recalls the existence of the Geneva Initiative as a realistic contribution to a just and sustainable peace drawn up by leading figures from member parties.

 

The Socialist International, which has always supported the democratic forces in Lebanon, reaffirms its backing of the legitimate and democratically elected government of the country.

It also calls for the respect of the parliamentary institution which has been paralysed for months at the instigation of the Syrian regime, for the re-establishment of its free functioning and for the application of the constitutional process to arrive at an election, within the legal timeframe, of a new President of the Republic.

Faced with repeated aggressive acts which undermine the sovereignty of Lebanon and the integrity of its territory, and in order to put an end to terrorist attacks, the Socialist International urges the rigorous application of resolutions 1559, 1595, 1701 and 1757, and calls on the Arab and international community to take measures to secure the Lebanon-Syrian border and to end all illegal infiltration of people and military equipment coming from Syria.

While welcoming the adoption of resolution 1757 by the United Nations Security Council to create an international tribunal to try those responsible for the attacks, the Socialist International calls for its speedy implementation, to end the impunity of those who carried out the murderous acts and to allow Lebanon to recover the stability and rule of law which its citizens yearn for.

The Socialist International emphatically condemns the terrorist attack last 24 June against the international forces of UNIFIL which took the lives of six soldiers of the Spanish detachment and reaffirms its solidarity with the international forces deployed in Lebanon, and in particular with the Spanish contingent. The International expresses its support for the government and people of Spain at this difficult time, and its commitment to the UN mission in Lebanon. It extends its deepest condolences to the families of the six soldiers who were killed.

This unjustified and abominable act of violence is an attack against the forces deployed in a peacekeeping mission under United Nations mandate, which carry out a laudable task in favour of stabilising the country and establishing peace and security for the people of Lebanon. The Socialist International firmly reiterates its call for an end to hostilities in the region and urges the Lebanese authorities to do everything possible to bring to justice as quickly as possible those responsible for this heinous act.

The presence of UNIFIL is more necessary than ever to combat those attempting to destroy democracy and break the will of the Lebanese people in their quest to advance towards an independent, sovereign, democratic and united Lebanon.

 

Iraq is a reality which deeply affects us every day. Along with our anguish at the continuation of the vulnerable situation in which the Iraqi people live, the Socialist International expresses its solidarity with the country’s leaders who persist tenaciously and courageously in their efforts to build a free, democratic and peaceful society, to end terror and to be able to advance as a sovereign nation in the building of a modern, inclusive society, with opportunities for all. Whilst recalling previous resolutions of the SI, we call for the end of the presence of all international troops and for their withdrawal as soon as possible when circumstances allow and with the support of the Iraqi people.

The Socialist International supports the efforts of President Jalal Talabani, who participated and introduced the debates of our Council on the theme “Iraq: which way forward?”, and those who work with him to establish a democratic and federal system. After 35 years of dictatorship, in which the civil and political rights of the Iraqi people were denied and ethnic and religious persecution were fostered, as well as armed conflict with neighbouring nations, Iraq is embarking today on a process of national reconstruction which deserves our wholehearted support.

The International reiterates its strongest condemnation of the terrorist acts against the different sectors of Iraqi society, which have not succeeded in crushing the national spirit of the people driven by their desire for reconstruction and to take their future back into their own hands. It supports the Iraqi people in their struggle against terrorism, as well as all their initiatives to strengthen national reconciliation and in the development of initiatives to guarantee the incorporation of all sensibilities and social sectors in the democratic political process.

The International calls on other states in the region to refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq, respecting its independence and sovereignty, as well as its national unity. It also urgently calls for an end to financial assistance and support for any terrorist activity from abroad.

 

The Socialist International welcomes the cooperation among the socialist and social democratic forces in the Balkans region, underlining the contribution of its member parties to the stability and the integration process into the European and Euro-Atlantic structures.

The SI calls upon the socialist and social democratic parties to continue their process of restructuring and modernisation to gain more political support. It welcomes the engagement of the European Union, giving a European perspective to the situation in the countries of the Western Balkans. It considers that regional and sub-regional cooperation among these countries represents one of the key factors towards their integration into the European Union.

The Socialist International considers the issue of Kosovo as an essential factor for the stability of the Balkans region and for the credibility of the European Union and its foreign and defence policies. The SI encourages dialogue between the Kosovars and the Serbs in order to find a balanced and flexible solution. On the basis of the Ahtisaari package, we encourage a solution for the definition of the final status of Kosovo on the part of the United Nations Security Council. It considers the United Nations Security Council as the only international authority entitled to adopt a decision on the future status of Kosovo. The SI calls on all states to avoid any unilateral solution or decision referring to Kosovo.

 

In relation to Côte d’Ivoire, the Socialist International welcomes the considerable effort made by President Laurent Gbagbo to reach and sign, together with Prime Minister Soro, the agreement of Ouagadougou of 4 March last, in order to bring an end to the crisis that this nation has been living for five years despite the intervention of regional and international organisations. The International welcomes and salutes this agreement, which is aimed at not only ending years of fratricidal war and the disarmament of the rebels, but to securing a lasting and honourable solution for the parties. For this, it will be necessary that all Ivorians once again learn to live together in mutual respect, demonstrating the will to forgive and progress together in order to overcome the consequences of the conflict.

The Socialist International is fully committed to accompanying the process of peace and national reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire and strongly condemns the attack carried out on 29 June against the presidential aeroplane carrying the country’s Prime Minister, aimed at destabilising this process. It calls on all parties to continue to work closely together for the successful implementation of the Ouagadougou agreement. The Socialist International equally reiterates its full support in defence of democracy - including a timetable for the holding of elections - the country’s institutions, and its territorial integrity.

 

The Socialist International has closely followed the democratic advances made in the Caucasus at a difficult juncture, in the context of conflicts which have been ongoing for some time, and it has encouraged those who share its political ideals to build more integrated and united political groupings of the democratic and progressive left.

The search for a solution to the conflicts in that region is imperative today for the international community and our movement will embark, in the coming months, on bringing new contributions to this process, with the understanding that each conflict in the region is of a different nature.

The development of a minimum of regional cooperation is urgently needed to advance and consolidate a system of stability and security in the region. It is also of paramount importance to anticipate and condemn all attempts at use of force or threats which would lead to such use. The humanitarian projects underway should focus on the needs of the people and should be carried out in an equitable manner amongst the population in the region, without political or institutional considerations.

The Socialist International will deploy its efforts towards supporting stability and security in the South Caucasus without excluding any of the three countries in the region and will try to contribute to a just and lasting solution to the conflict of Nagorno Karabakh.

 

The Socialist International has followed for many years with deep concern the situation in Colombia. This Council expresses its will to continue its cooperation to ease conflict tensions there and bring an end to violence.

The Council deeply regrets the violent death of 11 deputies who were illegally kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) and expresses its condolences to their families, the Colombian authorities and the Liberal Party, of which some of the victims were members.

The Socialist International calls for the administration of justice to be supported, democracy strengthened and an atmosphere of cohabitation to be re-established in the country and reiterates its conviction that the stability and security of Colombia are possible on the basis of greater truth, freedom and democracy.

A mission of the International will visit Colombia to calmly examine the situation of violence in which the country is living, as well as the nature and reach of the diverse conflicts which beset it and to recommend to its member parties and social democratic governments around the world the proposals it considers necessary to collaborate with the Colombian people in their fight to achieve peace.

 

The Council welcomes and supports the peace process underway in Nepal and the commitment of all sides to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, signed there in November 2006.

The Socialist International firmly supports the consolidation of democracy and the strengthening of sustainable peace in Nepal. The SI is committed to monitoring and observing Nepal’s peace process and welcomes the upcoming Constituent Assembly elections in November 2007, which will be observed by a mission of the International.

It urges all sides to work together to achieve secure political conditions in which free and fair elections can be held.

With reference to the disturbing report on the human rights and security situation in Nepal filed recently by the UN High Commission on Human Rights Office in Nepal, the International calls on the former insurgent forces to abide by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed between them and the seven political parties, as well as to the UN-witnessed Agreement on the Management of Arms and Armies.

The SI notes with concern the reports of intimidation, extortion, kidnapping, and forcible seizure of land and property by those forces. The SI appeals to them to desist from such activities as set out in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and Agreement on the Management of Arms and Armies.

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